What’s happening at the STUG meeting, August 28 – 31 – Combined Cycle Journal

What’s happening at the STUG meeting, August 28 – 31

The 10th annual meeting of the Steam Turbine Users Group, launched in Richmond in summer 2014, is a cornerstone of Power Users’ 2023 Combined Conference in the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, August 28 – 31. Technical program for the upcoming meeting was developed by the all-volunteer steering committee of engineers and managers identified in the sidebar and accompanying photo—many with decades of relevant experience. A preview of the presentations scheduled for the week beginning August 28 follows.

STUG steering committee, 2023

Chair: Matt Radcliff, consulting engineer, Dominion
Vice Chair: Mark Johnson, staff ST fleet engineer, FPL

Eddie Argo, team leader, Southern Company
Jake English, steam turbine program manager, Duke Energy
Jay Hoffman, maintenance manager, Tenaska Virginia Generating Station
Connor Hurst, engineer, Teco Energy
John McQuerry, director of outage operations, Calpine
Lonny Simon, maintenance engineer, OxyChem
Seth Story, director of fleet mechanical engineering, Luminant Generation Services
Brandon Stewart, maintenance team leader, Southern Company
Jared Harrell, production superintendent, OxyChem

Recall that in its infancy, STUG focused primarily on GE A10 and D11 steam turbines; today it covers steamers for combined cycles made by all the leading OEMs.

Many sessions are user only. Non-users wanting to participate in a particular session must be approved by the steering committee to gain admission. Presenting vendors are allowed in the room only when it is their time to present.

Expectation is that most of this year’s presentations will be available to owner/operators through the Power Users website a few months from now—except for those made by GE and Siemens-Energy. Access the GE PowerPoints at https://mydashboard.gepower.com; the Siemens-Energy presentations on the company’s Customer Extranet Portal, https://siemens.force.com/cep.

Slide decks from 2022 and earlier meetings already are accessible to registered users. If you are not registered, sign up now at www.powerusers.org: It’s easy and there’s no charge.

Monday, August 28. The STUG technical program opens with an EPRI seminar, which runs until lunch. Discussion topics for the open forum include the following:

  • ST valve diagnostics.
  • Lube-oil testing and maintenance.
  • The effects of flexible operation on high-/low-temperature steam-path components.

The afternoon begins with the steering committee’s Seth Story of Luminant moderating a roundtable discussion on conference expectations and “knowing our fleets.” A panel discussion on GE combined-cycle steam-turbine valves is next. Participants from three major utilities (Dominion, Duke, and Luminant) discuss historical experience plus valve upgrade options and experience with them. Three user presentations follow. One covers an IP- to LP-turbine crossover failure.

Tuesday, August 29, is all-in on vendor presentations until 4 p.m.—specifically:

  • Steam-system metal-bellows expansion joints (Senior Flexonics).
  • Return to service following abnormal operating events (TG Advisers).
  • Boiler-feed-pump steam turbines—recent issues and challenges (EthosEnergy Group).
  • HyFit (Nord-Lock Group) coupling-bolt solution.
  • Turbine insulation and warming systems from Arnold Group.
  • Advances in EMI monitoring, plus a case study (Cutsforth).
  • Using real-time data analytics to improve asset reliability and performance (Black & Veatch).

Siemens-Energy and FPL close out the afternoon with the OEM presenting on the following topics:

  • Low-load operation.
  • Short-term layup.
  • Hydraulic fasteners.
  • Steam-turbine modernization options for combined cycles.
  • Lessons learned from forced outages.

And the utility explaining major outage findings for an uprated BB-43 steam turbine, plus lessons learned while taking steam-turbine performance measurements.

Tuesday’s technical program ends at 5 when the three-hour Vendor Fair begins.

Wednesday, August 30, opens with a two-hour MD&A session covering the following:

  • Turbine outage-management case study.
  • Steam-turbine high-speed-balance case studies.
  • Outage planning.

GE presents for the remainder of the morning on its Technical Information Letters and top issues, plus turning-gear failure modes, maintenance, and best practices.

In the afternoon, the OEM is at the podium to discuss these topics:

  • Interval extensions possible with NextGen Valve and experience to date.
  • Updates on Alstom rotating components and structures.
  • D-11 turbine-shell findings, repairs, and replacement experience.
  • Benefits and methods of improving the start times of combined-cycle plants.
  • Improvements in outage execution at combined-cycle plants.

Thursday, August 31, the final day of the conference, morning-only, features presentations by representatives of leading utilities. Only one topic was released to the editors by press time: “LP Gland-Case Replacement on a 57-year-old Unit.”

However, meeting information is updated regularly on the STUG pages of the Power Users website at www.powerusers.org. Alternatively, you can come up to date when you register for the conference.

STUG steering committee. Front row (l to r): Seth Story, Connor Hurst, Jay Hoffman, Matt Radcliff. Back row: Lonnie Simon, John McQuerry, Eddie Argo, Mark Johnson, Jake English. Camera shy: Brandon Stewart, Jared Harrell
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